On Saturday 8th December 2012, I went to Hillsborough to spend my third matchday with the Sheffield Wednesday media team for their game against Bristol City.
Having spent two matchday’s with the media team at Hillsborough already this season, I was very kindly invited back once again for today’s game against Bristol City. I had progressed from simply watching how things work against Bolton Wanderers, to attempting a running match report against Peterborough United last month. This time, I was given the opportunity to write the match report for the official website which was very exciting for me as it would be the first time that one of my reports would be published on a football league club’s site.
Both sides were sat at the wrong end of the Championship table going in to the game. Sheffield Wednesday had lost their last six league games and were in 23rd position, while visitors Bristol City were also in the relegation zone in 22nd place having picked up just four victories in 20 league games.
The Owls set up with a 4-4-2 formation with Gary Madine and Chris O’Grady leading the attack while David Prutton made his first start at Hillsborough this season. Manager Dave Jones made two changes from the starting eleven that had lost to Cardiff City last Sunday, with Madine and Jermaine Johnson replacing Mamady Sibide and Danny Mayor.
Bristol City boss Derek McInnes also made a couple of changes to his side after last week’s 4-1 defeat to Wolves with Sam Baldock and Stephen McManus taking the places of Neil Kilkenny and Stephen Pearson in the line up.
It was a dramatic and action packed game at Hillsborough. Miguel Llera gave Wednesday the lead in the 3rd minute when his powerful header beat Tom Heaton and flew in to the net.
Madine and O’Grady both wasted opportunities to double the home sides advantage before the referee handed Bristol City a lifeline in the 18th minute. Llera was judged to have fouled Baldock inside the area and the same man calmly converted the spot kick to level the score.
The game was very scrappy with neither side able to create many clear cut chances to gain an advantage in this important game. Then, with just over 10 minutes to play, Madine put the home side back in front. Johnson charged forward, cutting past a couple of challenges, before firing at goal. Heaton palmed the ball in to the path of Madine who scored from 6 yards.
However, the elation lasted just minutes as Madine turned from hero to villian. Referee Andre Marriner gave the visitors their second penalty of the afternoon when Madine handled in the box and Baldock fired the ball home from the spot to level for a second time.
Albert Adomah left the majority of the 20,449 supporters in a state of shock with just two minutes to play when he curled his free kick past Chris Kirkland and in to the back of the net to appear to have given the Robins all 3 points.
There was yet more drama in stoppage time when Madine looked to have salvaged a point in stoppage time, but the referee disallowed the goal after much confusion amongst the players and supporters alike.
To read my full match report on Sheffield Wednesday’s website, click HERE
The result saw Bristol City move out of the bottom three on goal difference while Sheffield Wednesday are now 3 points adrift of safety. It is a worrying time for Owls supporters as they sit second bottom in the league table on a run of seven conseuctive defeats.
I was once again allowed to go and watch the post match press conferences with the two managers. Dave Jones was visibly disappointed and angry at some of the decisions by both the officials and his own players. He said that “I haven’t become a bad manager overnight” and that “This is the most frustrating run I have known as a manager”.
Robins manager Derek McInnes was understandably more upbeat, claiming that “Overall, I think the best team won.” When asked about the drama at the end of the game he said “I can’t comment on the incident at the end, but my players have told me that they clearly heard the whistle blown before the goal”.
I had another great day at Hillsborough and I was delighted to see my match report on the official Shefield Wednesday website. I would like to say a big thanks to everyone at Sheffield Wednesday for inviting me and a special mention for Trevor Braithwait, who sat with me during the game and oversaw my running report.
Sheffield Wednesday 2–3 Bristol City
Llera ‘3, Baldock ’18 (pen), ’86 (pen), Madine ’79, Adomah ’88Kirkland, Buxton, Taylor, Llera, Helan, Antonio, Lines, Prutton, J Johnson (Mayor ’81), Madine, O’Grady (Rodri ’81) Heaton, Foster, McManus, Bates, Fontaine, Adomah, Elliott, Danns, Bryan (Anderson ’84), Baldock (Pearson ’90), Taylor Attendance: 20,449